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Honda Elevate Review: More Than Enough

Published On Aug 01, 2023 By Arun for Honda Elevate

Honda’s second crack at the segment requires you to look beyond the brochure. 

Honda Elevate

There’s a whole lot you cannot put on a brochure. 

Engine specifications? Yes. 

Reliability? Not really. 

Safety features? Sure! 

But, build quality? Nope. 

Warranty? Oh yes. 

Trust? Nope. 

Thankfully, the Elevate does not need to bother with any of this. With a Honda badge, this is almost a given. 

The Elevate will coax you into not judging it purely by what’s (and what isn’t) on its brochure. And once you spend some quality time with the new Honda on the block, you’ll quickly be convinced that it’s a sensible addition to the family. 

Exterior

Honda Elevate

Forget the glossy brochure pictures. In person, out in the real world, the Elevate stands tall and upright. There’s oodles of road presence and you will get your fair share of attention on the road. 

In typical Honda fashion, the design isn’t taking any unnecessary risks. It’s simple, strong and powerful. The connection to Honda’s global lineup of SUVs is amply evident in the flat-nose with a large gloss black grille. Pair that with a high-set bonnet, and a thick slab of chrome above the full-LED headlamps — you’ve got a face that exudes confidence. 

The side profile seems almost too simplistic. Save for the interesting elements on the lower half of the doors, the profile is clean — devoid of any sharp creases. It’s tall height is also highlighted when viewed from this angle, and the 17” dual tone wheels also stand out. 

Honda Elevate

From the rear, the obvious highlight is the connected tail lamp design element. We wish this entire unit was LED and not just the brake lamps. 

In terms of size, the numbers are right where they should be. It’s standing shoulder-to-shoulder with its arch rivals — the Creta, Seltos and the Grand Vitara. The number that’s likely to get your attention, however, is the large 220mm of ground clearance. Nothing speaks ‘for India’ in the design as much as this does! 

Also Check Out: Honda Will Offer The Elevate In 10 Colour Options

Interior 

Honda Elevate Interior

The doors of the Elevate open nice and wide. Getting in and out won’t be a task, even for the elderly. You tend to ‘walk’ into the cabin, which is easy on the knees. 

Once in, the classy tan-black color combination has you saying ‘classy’ almost immediately. Honda has chosen to keep the theme subdued and sombre, with dark grey highlights around the AC vents (instead of the usual chrome) and dark grey stitching for the upholstery too. The wooden insert on the dash gets a dark shade too. The wrap around effect of the tan from the dashboard ‘spilling over’ onto the door pads is executed neatly too, making the cabin feel a lot more cohesive. 

Honda seems to have hit the nail on the head in terms of material quality. The plastic used on the dashboard top, AC vents and the climate control interface seems high quality. Soft touch leatherette on the dashboard and door pads do their bit in amping up the experience. 

Honda Elevate Front Seat

Let’s now talk about space. The seating position is tall. In fact, even at its lowest setting, the front seats’ height is quite high. The obvious advantage to this is that you get a clear view of the nose — important if you’re new to driving. An obvious flipside is for those taller than 6ft or those who wear turbans, you’d find yourself close to the roof. A non-sunroof model should (in theory) have better headroom at the front. 

Inside the cabin, there's no shortage of practicality - cupholders in the center console, storage in the armrest, and bottle holders in the door pockets. In addition, there are thin storage slots for keeping your phone or keys.

On the passenger side, the portion below the central AC vents juts out by design. This might brush your  your knee or shin which will have you move the seat a notch further back than usual. Thankfully, even doing that leaves plenty of legroom for the rear seat passengers.

Honda Elevate Rear seat

The rear knee room is among the best in the segment — a six footer like me was able to comfortably fit behind a 6’5” tall driver. The floor under the seats is raised, turning it into a natural footrest. There are no complaints about headroom, either. The roof liner is scooped from the sides, creating a bit more space. Cabin width is decent. Three people can squeeze in if needed. However, there's neither a headrest nor a 3-point seat belt for the middle occupant.

This cabin is perfect for 4 adults and 1 child, and the spacious trunk will easily swallow the weekend luggage of 5 people. You get 458 liters of space, and the rear seats split 60:40 for added versatility.

Features

Honda Elevate Infotainment screen

The top-spec version of the Elevate brings with it all that you’d use on a daily basis. Basics such as keyless entry, push-button start stop, tilt-telescopic adjustment for the steering wheel and a height-adjustable driver’s seat are in place. Other notable features include a wireless charger, climate control, rear AC vents, and a sunroof.

The highlight is the new 10.25-inch touchscreen, which Honda is introducing for the first time. The interface is simple, responsive, and has good resolution. It's definitely better than the Honda City's infotainment system. With it you get Wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay and an 8-speaker sound system.

Honda Elevate Instrument Cluster

The second highlight is the part-digital driver display, borrowed from the City. Analogue and digital display blend seamlessly into one cohesive cluster. Here too, graphics are sharp, and all vital information is available at a glance. 

There are some misses too, however. A panoramic sunroof, front seat ventilation, or a 360-degree camera would’ve made it a little more lucrative. Surprisingly, there are no type-C chargers in the car. You get a couple of USB type-A ports up front along with a 12V socket, whereas the rear occupants only get a 12V socket to charge their phones. Also, given the roomy rear, Honda should’ve added rear window sunshades. 

Also Read: Honda Elevate Attracts Healthy Waiting Period Ahead Of Launch

Safety

Honda Elevate interior

We’re expecting the Elevate to perform well in terms of safety. It’s based on the City’s proven platform that’s scored a full 5 stars in the ASEAN NCAP. Top-spec versions get features such as 6 airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat mounts, electronic stability control and hill start assist. Weirdly enough, Honda does not provide a tyre pressure monitoring system with the Elevate. 

Adding to the safety quotient of the Elevate is a host of ADAS functions. This includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and auto emergency braking. Do note that the Elevate uses a camera-based system and not a radar-based one like the Kia Seltos or the MG Astor. This will limit functionality in low visibility conditions such as rain/fog and also at night. Also, since there are no radars in the rear you do not get blind-spot monitoring or rear cross-traffic alert. 

Performance

Honda Elevate

Powering the Elevate is the City’s tried-and-tested 1.5-litre engine. Nope, no turbo, no hybrid, no diesel. Just one engine option for you. You do get to choose between a manual and a CVT, though. 

Specifications

- Engine: 1.5-liter, four-cylinder  

- Power: 121PS | Torque: 145Nm  

- Transmission: 6-speed MT / 7-step CVT

The engine throws no surprises here. It’s smooth, relaxed, and refined. Compared to the other 1.5-litre petrol motors in the segment, performance is on par. It’s not particularly engaging or exciting, but simply gets the job done. 

Honda Elevate

Power is built smoothly, which means driving in the city is easy. Light controls make the process easier still. You’d be left wanting for more power in two scenarios. First: on hilly roads with full load, where you'll need to use 1st or 2nd gear. Second: on highways while wanting to overtake at speeds above 80kmph. Here too, a downshift (or two) might be needed. 

We’d urge you to make the stretch to the CVT. It makes the experience even more relaxing. The CVT is tuned to mimic a torque convertor. So it ‘upshifts’ as the speeds climb, especially when driven hard. But you’d quickly realise this combination too prefers being driven sedately, with light throttle inputs. 

Ride Quality

Honda Elevate

Honda has tuned the suspension for comfort over outright handling. It performs well on smooth roads and doesn't toss you around on bad ones. At low speeds, over large craters, most SUVs in this segment toss you around side to side. None of that in the Elevate. 

Nothing out of the ordinary to report in terms of high-speed stability or cornering ability. It performs as you’d expect a Honda to. 

Verdict

Honda Elevate

Honda’s Elevate is priced from Rs 11-16 lakh (ex-showroom). That’s surprisingly good, given it undercuts the Honda City. Do note, however, that lower variants of the City are better equipped and it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. 

With this price, the Elevate is not only going to make its immediate rivals sweat a little, it is also going to take a bite out of smaller SUVs that are dangerously close to it in terms of pricing. 

The price also has you make peace with the few missing features. Viewed from the lens of a family car — something that prioritises comfort, space, quality and safety over all else — the Elevate is really hard to fault.

Honda Elevate

Variants*Ex-Showroom Price New Delhi
SV (Petrol)Rs.11.91 Lakh*
V (Petrol)Rs.12.71 Lakh*
V CVT (Petrol)Rs.13.71 Lakh*
VX (Petrol)Rs.14.10 Lakh*
VX CVT (Petrol)Rs.15.10 Lakh*
ZX (Petrol)Rs.15.41 Lakh*
ZX CVT (Petrol)Rs.16.43 Lakh*
ZX CVT Dual Tone (Petrol)Rs.16.51 Lakh*

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